Pioneers, Lions battle Thursday in Oregon City
Oregon City, with a 5-1 record, will be the favorite this Thursday night, when West Linn and Oregon City high school varsity football teams renew one of the oldest high school football rivalries in the country.
West Linn enters the game with a 3-3 record, and the Lions are coming off a 40-7 homecoming loss to Clackamas.
But longtime fans of both teams know that past records mean little when football teams from these cross-river rivals go head-to-head. Emotions typically ride high and the team that executes and commits the fewest turnovers typically comes out on top, even if they enter the game without a win.
Oregon City holds a 49-42-1 edge in the series, which is heralded as the oldest uninterrupted high school football rivalry west of the Mississippi.
Oregon City prevailed 35-29 last year. But before that West Linn had won nine rivalry games in a row, a series record.
Oregon City has averaged 33 points a game in its first six games of the 2013 season; West Linn has averaged 30 points.
The teams have have played entirely different schedules.
Oregon Citys only loss was in a 20-15 barnburner with Canby, which enters this weeks games ranked ninth in the state in the OSAA RPI rankings, even though the Cougars lost to Lake Oswego 35-14 last Friday.
West Linn this fall has wins over Lake Oswego (7-3), Barlow (42-28) and South Salem (58-9); and losses to second-ranked Clackamas, 13th-ranked Grants Pass (44-30) and Idaho powerhouse Couer dAlene (49-35).
Oregon City has wins over Gresham (40-18), Crater (42-20), David Douglas (35-0), Grant (34-21) and Lakeridge (31-21). Lakeridge enters this weeks games ranked eighth.
West Linn and Oregon City are ranked 19th and 20th respectively in the RPI rankings.
Oregon City and West Linn have both had success passing and running with the football.
West Linn quarterback Hayden Coppedge in six games has completed 110-of-167 passes (66 percent) for 1,460 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Oregon City quarterback Jon Hall has completed 58-of-102 passes (57 percent) for 973 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Trevon Bradford (15 receptions, 420 yards, 6 touchdowns) and Matthew Oades (24 catches, 287 yards, 4 touchdowns) have been the Pioneers top receivers.
West Linn running back Louie Germaine has 867 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns on 152 carries.
Oregon City running back Conner Mitchell has 151 carries for 1,054 yards and six touchdowns.
The Pioneers have a kicker who is money in Alex Canchola. Canchola this season has gone 21-for-22 on PAT kicks and he has split the uprights on eight of 10 attempted field goals.
Gametime is 7 p.m. Thursday, at Oregon City.